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Old 09-20-09, 10:26 PM   #1
CatSkratch
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Thoughts On First Race This Season

# 1 - Sandbagging is worse in cyclocross than any other cycling discipline.
Last year in the Cat 4's the 6 races were all finished 1 and 2 by two guys who are Cat 2 road racers and mountain bikers. At the time I said they shouldnt even be racing in Cat 4's. Well this year they werent but they both finished 1 and 2 in the Cat 3's.
This year the first Cat 4 was dominated by guys who have been racing cross races for 3 years now in Cat4. I am going to tell the race director to bump these guys because obviously they have no shame.

# 2 - Cat 4 racers should NOT have an attitude.
I had never raced Cat 4's before since I jumped cats due to my previous road and XC racing. I had heard all of the Cat 4 horros stories though and I found out they are TRUE !!
I asked the race director if I could race in the Cat 4 today because I was sick and the race started at 9am and I had to be somewhere at 11:30. He said yes if I agreed to finished off the podium.
So in the starting stage area I looked around and smiled at the other racers and said hi. NO ONE even responded. It was tense.
We werent allowed to pre-ride the course so when the race started me and another guy were in front and we almost took a wrong turn. We didnt but there was a slight pause until we realized the correct turn was another 10 feet up. However, when we paused someone behind us immediately yelled "you guys are f*cing idiots, get out of the way". Then another guy yelled "get the f*ck off the course".
We were only about 30 feet into the race at this point. I didnt understand it because our pause should have been an advantage to these riders. I guess they needed to prove how "experienced" they were even though they were racing in Cat 4's.
Now as we got into the course about 300 yards we got over the first barriers and were now riding. The course was very flat and on grass. It was by far the widest course I had ever ridden in my life. It was easily 15 feet wide in every section. However, 300 yards into the race I am in 2n or 3rd place and we come into a turn and I have the inside line and some guy starts rubbing elbows with me. He shouts "move over" !!! I couldnt believe it. 300 yards into a 8 mile race with 15ft wide lanes and guys are acting like this
Another 75 yards later and I am in 3rd place riding very comfortably and into a turn we come. Bear in mind that we just had a 70 yard flat straight away. Once again in the turn guys were crowding me and I got bumped twice even though I had the inside lane. Idiot number two yells "christ, get the f*ck out of the way if you cant hang". These jerks could pass anywhere but decided to bump around turns and only 2 minutes into the race.
I got pissed. On the next straight away I pulled up to both guys who were now in 2nd and 3rd and passed them and said "pass me on the straights if you can". On the next straight they tried to pass but I kept alongside just to show they werent strong enough.
I new I was going to have to let them pass though because I agreed to not podium. Right after that my front brakes seized up. I jumped off and fixed them and got back into about 8th place. Then I heard the hissing and new my day was done.
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Old 09-21-09, 06:32 AM   #2
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This post is a joke,... right?
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Old 09-21-09, 09:48 AM   #3
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This post is a joke,... right?
I don't get it. What was funny there?
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Old 09-21-09, 10:23 AM   #4
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This post is a joke,... right?
no
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Old 09-21-09, 11:31 AM   #5
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Where do you race? That is a bummer man. I know this sport has grown a LOT in the last 5 years but it's always always been low key and fun with attitudes left at the door. I'm doing pro/1/2 races now and before every race we are always chatting it up. Hell I look forward to seeing the same guys every weekend. When I did C races (before categories) it was again a fun bunch of people.

Don't get me wrong it is always very competitive. Once the gun goes off it's a brutal fight but it's still all about fuin and camaraderie. Maybe the popularity of cross is bringing a new breed of racers.
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Old 09-21-09, 04:09 PM   #6
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Being a beginner I am pretty tense before a race, mostly because I am worried about making a jackass out of myself. I imagine other folks feel the same way. Everyone seems pretty cool here in Colorado and I haven't encountered any ego's like I used to when I played adult league soccer. One reason I was so excited to try cross is because I thought people would be less intense and easy going. Not so. I kind of wish they had a CAT 5 or "beer gut" category for the same folks who would otherwise being playing softball (or kickball for that matter).
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Old 09-21-09, 04:34 PM   #7
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I don't get it. What was funny there?
Maybe because he's complaining about sandbaggers and racing in a lower category than is apparently on his license? Complaining about attitudes then talking smack in the middle of a cat 4 race?

just a guess...
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Old 09-21-09, 05:25 PM   #8
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Maybe because he's complaining about sandbaggers and racing in a lower category than is apparently on his license? Complaining about attitudes then talking smack in the middle of a cat 4 race?

just a guess...
I raced in a lower class because I had two options.....race in Cat 4 or dont race at all. I am trying to help grow the sport and actually PARTICIPATE in races and go to events and help the people who work tirelessly to put on events and races for us.

Yeah I talked smack during the race because I had some vile nonsense directed at me that was way out of line and has no place in the sport. I wanted to make sure the other racers knew that.
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Old 09-21-09, 06:57 PM   #9
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Why do I think this is a joke? I may be off base and don't want to start a flame war but here is what I read.

"I had never raced Cat 4's before since I jumped cats due to my previous road and XC racing"
I can not imagine going to a race director and saying I don't feel very good today and have to be somewhere else when my catagory races, so can I race down?

"when we paused someone behind us immediately yelled "you guys are f*cing idiots, get out of the way". Then another guy yelled "get the f*ck off the course". We were only about 30 feet into the race at this point."
I find it hard to believe that anyone would "pause" 30 feet into a race and not expect others to complain. At 30 feet I'm trying to clip in and hammer to the first turn.

"I new I was going to have to let them pass though because I agreed to not podium. Right after that my front brakes seized up. I jumped off and fixed them and got back into about 8th place. Then I heard the hissing and new my day was done."
If he didn't plan to race hard then leave the race just before the finish line, why did he get ahead of any riders in the first place? If you are racing N/C it should not matter where you finish or if you don't want to cause any confusion at the finish just get off the course before the end.

If I'm off base then I apologize for attempting to read too deep into the rant.
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Old 09-21-09, 07:52 PM   #10
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Why do I think this is a joke? I may be off base and don't want to start a flame war but here is what I read.

"I had never raced Cat 4's before since I jumped cats due to my previous road and XC racing"
I can not imagine going to a race director and saying I don't feel very good today and have to be somewhere else when my catagory races, so can I race down?

"when we paused someone behind us immediately yelled "you guys are f*cing idiots, get out of the way". Then another guy yelled "get the f*ck off the course". We were only about 30 feet into the race at this point."
I find it hard to believe that anyone would "pause" 30 feet into a race and not expect others to complain. At 30 feet I'm trying to clip in and hammer to the first turn.

"I new I was going to have to let them pass though because I agreed to not podium. Right after that my front brakes seized up. I jumped off and fixed them and got back into about 8th place. Then I heard the hissing and new my day was done."
If he didn't plan to race hard then leave the race just before the finish line, why did he get ahead of any riders in the first place? If you are racing N/C it should not matter where you finish or if you don't want to cause any confusion at the finish just get off the course before the end.

If I'm off base then I apologize for attempting to read too deep into the rant.
I can not imagine going to a race director and saying I don't feel very good today and have to be somewhere else when my catagory races, so can I race down?

Well I did. My reasoning was thats its important for the survival of racing series to have rider turnout. Low rider turnout means low sponsorship and advertising and then the series goes broke and thus no series for people to race in.
I decided to support my local race series instead of staying home and hopefully insuring a series for everyone to race at.


I find it hard to believe that anyone would "pause" 30 feet into a race and not expect others to complain. At 30 feet I'm trying to clip in and hammer to the first turn.

Well, we paused. We didnt stop, we paused. If you are a fellow racer and you complain about someone pausing then you obviously are too stupid to recognize a chance to pass and take advantage.
Did the people who yell at us not understand that we had legitimate confusion about the course ? Did the 2 second pause ruin their chances of winning the ribbon that day ?

If he didn't plan to race hard then leave the race just before the finish line, why did he get ahead of any riders in the first place?

Because if anyone was going to beat me they still had to ride the entire race. My plan was to fall back about mid race but I thought it would be a good idea to ride at a speed consistant with other riders.
In fact, even though I am now a Cat 2 racer, two of the riders in Cat 4 were exceptionally strong and might well have beaten me no matter how hard I rode.
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Old 09-22-09, 09:52 AM   #11
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In the 'old' days of cat A B and C you could race what every you felt like and no one complained. But a race official would not let you race a C race if you were already winning B races. Hell when I was a C I used to register for the A race on the same day when there were only 7 Pro's and it paid 8 deep.

I know things are different now as they should be because of the popularity of the sport but I don't think it's too unusual for a cat 2 for example who has not raced in a year to drop back a cat just to test the water so to speak.
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Old 09-28-09, 12:44 PM   #12
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Sandbagging. I did two races last year -- both on a converted singlespeed road bike -- but had a lot of fun so I built up a proper CX bike this year. In the meantime, I got my road upgrade to 3 so I figured I probably ought to race the B races. However, like the OP I had a commitment later in the day so I came to the early C race.

I was wondering if I should have felt like a sandbagger, but when I lined up against a bunch of 2's and at least one Cat 1, I didn't feel so bad. Now, the organizer did say that if you were clearly fitter than average, you'd be asked to race up next time, so I hope it's not an issue next race.

Unfortunately, no one asked me to race B's next time.
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Old 10-05-09, 06:17 PM   #13
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I completely agree on the sandbaging issue. I raced my first cross race this weekend. I finished some where in the middle and when I started checking the licenses on USA Cycling a whole mess load of Cat 2s and 3s were popping up on a Cat 4C cross race. I'm sorry but that is just unfair to those of us who are just getting involved in the sport and are not as fit as others yet. I still had an awesome time and can't wait to race next weekend.
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Old 10-06-09, 07:05 AM   #14
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Meh. I got lapped by the 15 year old winner of the Cat4 race last weekend. He's moving up to the 3/4 event next week and will probably make some of them look slow too. If guys are sandbagging, they're doing it wrong.
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